Express delivery at Laytown
Toufan Express defied his veteran status as he shot to a popular victory in the Neptune Claiming Race in the unique once-a-year fixture on the beach at Laytown.
Many of the bumper crowd will have been with the Ado McGuinness-trained 11-year-old, who was second here last year, as he went in search of a 10th career success, having won most recently at the Galway Festival.
Although Johnny Murtagh looked a real threat at the two-furlong marker on Like Magic, Ian Brennan was moving powerfully on 5-1 chance Toufan Express and was always holding the runner-up after moving to the front, prevailing by a length and a quarter.
McGuinness said: "He's been a super horse for us down the years. He had a lot of leg trouble and he's been to the beach a lot as it helps him. We thought he was finished last year, but he just seems to come back. My kids ride him out at home. Laytown is local for me. We often take our horses to the beach at home. They love it, it's great for their legs."
Nina Carberry rode her first winner since breaking her collarbone in June as she was at her strongest in getting USA (11-8 favourite) home in the Hibernia Steel (QR) Race. Stephen Mahon's charge led around half a furlong out after collaring Wild China, and Carberry was in no mood to be denied in holding Moonbi Creek by a neck in a driving finish.
Carberry had broken her collarbone when unshipped from Kilapsy on the way to the start for the bumper at Gowran on June 23. She said: "It's great to have the ride, Tom (Quinn, owner) is a family friend. I misinterpreted the last furlong, it was a bit longer than I thought, but we got there in the end and it's good to get a winner back."
Saratoga Baby has been in good form this year and picked up a third success in the Marquees Nationwide (QR) Handicap. Peter Fahey's 11-4 joint-favourite, ridden by rising star Jane Mangan, collared the sweet-travelling Oor Jock inside the final quarter-mile and was driven two and three-quarter lengths clear.
Dual Laytown winner Richelieu made a valiant attempt to make it three in the O'Neills Sports Handicap, but came up three-quarters of a length short behind Tom McCourt's Bangalore Diamond (7-2 favourite) under Colin Keane.
Captain May (3-1 favourite) went one place better than last year to capture the Gilna's Cottage Inn Maiden. Owned by former amateur rider Aileen Sloane-Lee and trained by her husband Andrew, the Captain Rio gelding made all to see off That's Plenty by a length and a half.
Lambourn trainer George Baker sent Dana's Present for the Tote Mobile Betting Handicap and he was sent off the 7-2 favourite, but could only finish sixth as the six-furlong prize went the way of the Damian English-trained Enigma Code. A multiple winner at Dundalk, Ian McCarthy's mount kept on well to beat Ucanchoose by half a length after a protracted duel.
English said of his 11-1 winner: "He's as tough as nails. He ran very well at the Curragh (on Sunday), but it was a no sticks apprentice race and he's the type that just needs a slap. I put Ian on him as he's a strong rider and I didn't want him carrying a lot of lead. He comes down here every day for a splash in the water - we're only 15 minutes from here."